Companies Banning Social Media At Work

Oct 09, 2009 4:05 AM  By

Ken Crites, the director of consumer direct marketing for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, has a serious at-work issue. He can’t access Facebook or Twitter at work.

But Crites isn’t trying to earn a blue ribbon in FarmVille or reach a new high score in Bejewed Blitz. Crites is just trying to interact with Green Mountain fans and followers through various social networks.

Crites isn’t the only marketer who has this issue. According to a survey conducted by information technology firm Robert Half Technology, the majority of companies have banned social media in the workplace.

According to the survey of 1,400 chief information officers from U.S. companies with 100 or more employees, 54% of businesses have completely prohibited social networking sites in the workplace.

What’s more, only 19% permit the use of those companies surveyed permit social media usage for business-purposes only and 16% for limited personal use, while just 10% allow employees full access to social networks.

“Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology, in a release. “For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes.”

How does Crites of Green Mountain get around this?

Speaking at Oct. 7 at a Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association luncheon at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, CT, Crites said he has to plug his own broadband access card into his computer. This takes him off of Green Mountain’s servers, to connect with his company’s social media followers while on the job.